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Mitchell Shire Council encourages community to report vandalism of trees

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With a recent increase in vandalism of street trees across the Mitchell Shire, council said it was disappointed.

An incident late last year saw the deliberate snapping of 11 young Nyssa sylvatica trees along Powlett Street, Kilmore that were planted in 2020 and 2021.

In 2023 alone, a staggering 134 planted trees were vandalised and incurred costs exceeding $60,000 for council and ratepayers.

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Beyond the financial impact, the destruction has resulted in a significant loss of time and effort invested in establishing these crucial green assets.

Mitchell Shire mayor Louise Bannister said the removal had impacts on all residents.

“The recent vandalism of Mitchell Shire’s street trees is not only disappointing but also expensive for council and ratepayers,” she said.

‘Trees are an important community asset and council spends a significant amount of its resources planting and maintaining them.”

Street trees play a pivotal role as public assets, contributing invaluable benefits to both the community and the environment including shade provision, improved air quality, mitigation of stormwater runoff, as well as aesthetic and economic value.

The removal or damage of any tree on council-managed property, including nature strips, parks and reserves is an offence.

Council takes these matters seriously and will pursue legal action against anyone found guilty of removing or deliberately damaging trees.

In addition to legal consequences, council reserves the right to seek reimbursement for damages caused to council land, covering removal and reinstatement costs.

The community can help protect these vital assets by reporting any acts of vandalism to council by calling 5734 6200 or using the online Report It tool.

“Please help us protect our trees by notifying council if you have any information about vandalism,” Cr Bannister said.

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